By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: After facing three consecutive lockdowns on Eid festival due to COVID-19, people in Kashmir celebrated Eid-ul-Azha in a relaxed atmosphere this year as the cases declined.
After the pandemic broke out in early 2020, the government had imposed restrictions on religious gatherings and had even closed down all the places of worship across the country. Maintaining social distance, wearing masks and keeping the hands clean are the basic protocols that people need to follow even today.
“When the COVID-19 appeared the entire world was clueless about how contagious the virus is, and how it can be cured. But one thing was proven beyond that it spreads from one human being to another. So the experts suggested that people should remain away from one another to prevent the virus from moving. For the past two years people have been living under fear and threat,” said an observer.
It’s in place to mention here that religious places, including shrines, temples and masjids remained closed for a long time. People have not been able to perform Hajj for the past two years. The annual Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir has not been held for the last two years. Similarly many religious pilgrimages across the world were called off as none of the governments wanted to take a chance by allowing people to gather at one place.
After nearly two years, people in Kashmir were seen visiting the houses of their relatives and even Eid congregation prayers were offered in mohallas and villages. “We are hoping that COVID-19 won’t appear again and we will be able to live our lives normally. For the past 2-years we have been confined within our homes and the pandemic hasn’t spared anyone,” said Farooq Ahmed of Rawalpora.
He said, “The Covid cases have declined but the threat of a third wave is still there. Following Sops and getting vaccinated hold the key. The virus can raise its ugly head at any point of time. We can’t relax till we defeat the virus completely.”
Feroz Ahmed Khan of Nowhata, while recalling the last three Eids that were celebrated amidst COVID-19 restrictions, said, “The threat of getting infected kept most of the people inside. But this time around one could feel that Eid has come and we can celebrate it. The Covid has taught us many lessons and we need to thank the Almighty for giving us another chance. Many people lost their kith and kin during the past two years and we should not forget it. Everyone across the world is praying for the pandemic to end. The virus has changed our lives. We want to get back to our normal routine,” he added.